Tuesday 14th July 2020
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December 16, 2014
December 16, 2014

Spain: Operation Pandora

Author: Directa Translator: x-pressed
Source: La Directa  Category: Protest
This article is also available in: cael
Spain: Operation Pandora

Riot police raided Kasa de la Muntanya and closed off the perimeter

Operation Pandora of the Spanish National Court and the Catalan police against the libertarian movement

So far 11 people have been arrested: 8 in Barcelona, 2 in Manresa, 1 in Sabadell and 1 Madrid, some of whom in their residence. The investigation is ongoing.

At 04.45 in the morning, 700 Catalan police agents (Mossos d’Esquadra) carried out an operation against the libertarian movement. Following the orders of the Spanish National Court, in an operation ordered by the judge Javier Gómez Bermñudez, the police raided Kasa de la Muntanya, a historical squat in Barcelona after 25 years of activity. The Mossos busted the main entrance of the house to enter, while a police helicopter shed strong lights on it. The police uprooted a tree and a curb of the street to get there.

According to la Directa, the 20 inhabitants of Kasa de la Muntanya gathered at the house gym, in order to confront the assault. Two children aged five and six were inside the building at the time of the police raid. The police separated the minors from their parents on the ground floor, while they held two people out of the 20 as witnesses to the arrest. The police inspected the whole house and confiscated mobile phones, laptops and all the devices they found on their way.

The police operation consisted of agents of the Information Division of the Mossos d’Esquadra, accompanied by a large number of members of the Mobile Brigade, who, among other things, had formed a perimeter throughout the area preventing the approach to the house. The riot police carried foam dart shotguns and they were ID-checking the journalists who approached to cover the news. Several neighbours reported the extensive police presence: at least 15 vans at the corner of Larrard and Sant Josep de la Muntanya. In addition, at a couple of places in Vila Gràcia, specifically at the streets Sant Salvador, Vilafranca i Ros de Olano, more agents had been deployed to raid other homes.

The police confiscated all types of documents, as well as the electric workshop of Kasa de la Muntanya. They also reviewed in detail the children’s toys. By now, the police has allowed to two adults and two children to leave the building, but all the other people who were sleeping in the house before the raid are still inside. Until the late afternoon, the agents had inspected most part of Kasa de la Muntanya.

The search of the Kasa de la Muntanya finished at 17.50, according to the record of the court agent who was brought from Madrid. The judicial commission left the building at that time but did not leave a copy of the inventory of the material seized –as is the procedure according to the law. The riot police of the Mossos d’Esquadra, however, remained in the building for 30 minutes more, even though the Judicial Committee had left.

A spokesperson from the Kasa de la Muntanya stated to La Directa that the front door and two windows of the building are “totally destroyed.” Some of the furniture inside the building also suffered serious damages. Tomorrow at noon, several spokespersons and an attorney from Kasa de la Muntanya will give a press conference in front of the door of the squat regarding the police operation.

Meanwhile, the Catalan police has ended the Operation Pandora, with a final balance of 11 detainees. A police officer has been in contact with the lawyers of the detainees to inform them to be at the police station for statements. After this procedure they will be transferred to the premises of the National Court in Madrid.
Police broke down the door of a retired couple by mistake

During the operation and as reported to La Directa by the people affected, a dozen police agents raided the house of a retired couple breaking down the door at 5 in the morning in the margin of the police operation. The agents “apologised” for their mistake and reassured the couple that the police will pay for the repairs. The police press office refused to comment on this event to La Directa.

The reaction was immediate and protests have already been announced for this afternoon. In Barcelona there is a gathering at 17.00 in Plaza Orfila and another one at 19.00 at Plaza Diamant. There will also be demonstrations in Berga, Girona, Igualada, Manresa, Reus, Tarragona, València, Terrassa i Vilafranca. There are also calls in Madrid, Zaragoza, Valladolid and Salamanca.

Dozen police vans of the Mobile Brigade outside Kasa de la Muntanya / Mayu

In this context, in the early morning hours, about 50 people blocked the avenue Travessera de Dalt in Barcelona, in a spontaneous act of solidarity with the squat, until the riot police dispersed them at 8 in the morning. Later, the group moved to Plaza Lesseps and called for a solidarity demonstration. From the outside of the house, located in the district of Salut in Gracia, one could hear sounds of firecrackers and see several torches in the dark moving inside the house

Operation ordered by the High Court

So far, La Directa has confirmed 11 arrests during the 14 raids, 13 in Catalonia and 1 in Madrid. One arrest was made at a fire station in Barcelona by hooded undercover police agents. According to the police, the fire fighter was taken in handcuffs to his home in Sant Andreu to have it searched. Another arrest was made in a private house next to Plaza del Sol of Vila de Gràcia, which the police is still searching. In addition to Kasa de la Muntanya, several house raids have also been confirmed: in Sant Andreu the Catalan police has searched the Ateneu Llibertari and in Poble Sec the Ateneu Anarquista. They have also raided a house in Vilafranca de Gràcia st., at least two in Nou Barris, and at least two in Sant Andreu.

Search in an apartment in Gran de Sant Andreu / Rako

Interior of the Ateneu Llibertari del Palomar after the police search / Rako

The Catalan police has issued a press release that attributed the assault on Kasa de la Muntanya to a large police operation, in the margins of “Operation Pandora”. The police claims that the High Court has ordered the operation, which is still underway in various cities in Catalonia and Madrid. According to the press release, its purpose was to “dismantle a terrorist organisation of anarchist ideology, which has presumably conducted various attacks with explosives”. Finally, several persons were arrested for being members of a “criminal organisation” with “terrorist purposes” of “anarchist ideology”.

Second raid on Kasa de la Muntanya

This is not the first time that the police raided Kasa de la Muntanya. On July 18, 2001, the then representative of the Spanish government in Barcelona, Julia Garcia Valdecasas, ordered the evacuation of the building and sent the Spanish national police to raid the squat. Valdecasas justified it by saying that people from Kasa de la Muntanya attacked police agents while they were evacuating the squat Can Naoki across the street. That operation did not result in anything: the court ordered the withdrawal of the police considering it an illegal evacuation. The court, then, ordered an investigation against the head  of the riot police of Barcelona, Silverio Blanco, accusing him of illegal evacuation and theft. The case has been eventually archived.

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